Austria is planning a lockdown for millions who have not received a COVID vaccine, the country’s Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg has said. Millions of unvaccinated people will be ordered to stay at home except for a few limited reasons. The lockdown, which would affect around a third of the population, will come into effect on Wednesday, November 17th. Unvaccinated people are already excluded from entertainment venues, restaurants, hairdressers and other parts of public life in Austria.

The country’s Chancellor had hinted Thursday that a lockdown for the unvaccinated was “probably inevitable,” and that they would face an uncomfortable winter and Christmas.

Schallenberg said at a news conference:

“The aim is very clear: that we give the green light this Sunday for a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated. The development is such that I do not think it is sensible to wait. It is clear that this winter will be uncomfortable for the unvaccinated.”

Schallenberg added that the country’s vaccination rate is “shamefully low.” About 65% of the population is fully inoculated.

The lockdown for unvaccinated people in Austria is the first of its kind in the world.

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